My #LifeREboot

Today is my birthday. I have decided to turn “ageless” this year. I am so grateful to the hundreds (yes, 100s) of people who have wished me greetings, blessings, prayers or well wishes. I truly feel the love coming through the universe. For my birthday, I have decided to do a #lifeREboot, yes, CTRL, ALT, DEL at once. I want to start over and learn how to live a life of balance and greater intensity (aka FUN).

Six months ago, in December of 2018, I was part of a support group called “Broken.” I went approximately 3 times and left feeling more damaged, bitter and remorseful than before I joined. The point was to teach people how to surface their trauma and shame, shine the light on it and talk through how to overcome their past. I just felt it reminded me of a place that I didn’t live anymore and didn’t want to go back to (like the apartment in downtown Oakland I lived at 19 with cockroaches and gunshots outside in the middle of the night). I left “Broken” with a resolve to learn how to bounce in life, like a mountain bike and no longer stumble over things that were officially over.

If I could go back in time and not make those mistakes, that would be great, but instead I decided to put on my Northface parka, hiking boots, the leash for my dog and to start walking in the snow, rain, sleet, hail and sun on the trail next to the river.

There is an expression in business “what gets measured gets done,” so I knew that to change my life I needed to track my activity and results. I downloaded a fitness app which linked to my phone so that I could monitor my steps and kept a food journal. I had a very toxic relationship with food in the beginning of the year as it had become my primary form of reward or punishment. It was my safe place to hide when I was licking my wounds because I happened to disappoint someone and set off my “over-achiever,” “good girl” radar and alarm system.

By monitoring the steps, I was walking and the calories and macros I was consuming, I started to study the effects this had on my mood, sleep, productivity at work and self-assertiveness. I noticed that the more I walked, the braver I was at work and in my relationships. The more green-leafy veggies I consumed, the better I slept, and my frequent leg cramps disappeared. I was able to adjust, adapt and improve my activity based on these two variables — walking and eating.

I realized quickly that “continuous improvement” needs to be a lifestyle, not a diet. It became a full blown personal experiment by the middle of March, when I cycled in and out of vegetarianism, flexitarianism, vegan, keto, clean, IF, OMAD, and have settled on a modified hybrid of all of the above after losing 25% of my body in 5 months. I now average 35 miles of walking a week (typically 4–5 miles a day, more on week-ends), drink a minimum of a gallon of spring water a day, sleep at least 8 hours, meditate, relax, recharge and have kept a very strict schedule with little room for mistakes or “cheats.” Yes, it has been worth the discipline. The fortitude. The courage. The patience. The perseverance. I wore out my sneakers and threw out my “fat pants.” I am using plants to heal from the inside out and the outside in. I whistle at the birds and appreciate and breathe in the forest air.

However. Routines, no matter how healthy they are, can easily become ruts. When the wagon wheels go through the mud enough times, over and over and the circular track becomes memorized and ridiculously comfortable. My friends tell me I’m lucky. I hit my fitness goals and look great. I have finally achieved the weight I was when I lived in that Oakland apartment (with 100% more health on the inside now). I can hike without getting tired or having to stop and go to the bathroom. I have no more blisters on my feet or callouses on my hands from holding my dog’s leash as he jumps at the deer, groundhogs, rabbits and other wildlife on the river trail. I am happy, relaxed, spiritual, calm and BORING!!

The problem with living a virtuous life is that it stops being fun when you have finally gotten rid of the drama once and for all and no longer stumble in after a night on the town, or have a fight with your friend for “that inappropriate thing she said” at the “most inappropriate time.” You no longer pick at your kids, or fight with your boss or gang up on your co-workers. You breathe in peace and breathe out bland. You bounce out of bed in the morning and accomplish more work than you ever had before by doing less; but you are feeling no color.

No light.

No emotions.

NO LIFE!!

You show up. You are consistent. You are dependable. You have work ethic. You don’t let people down. You don’t have to work as hard, because you have mental clarity, no hunger, no exhaustion, no fear, no sadness, no disappointment. You have arrived. You are officially comfortably numb.

No, I don’t want to go back to being broken. I don’t want to go back to bad relationships and high blood pressure. I don’t want to use corn chips and guacamole as a coping tool or wake up with an empty bottle of cabernet next to my pillow. I don’t want to feel sick from work stress, or fight with my mother.

But I want to find the BALANCE somewhere between the virtue and the vice. I want to bring out the paint brushes of pride, vanity, selfishness, irritation and romance from time to time.

I want to fall and let someone down sometimes. I think that sometimes being a saint can quickly become being a martyr while alive and defeats the purpose of a fully celebrated life.

I made several lists today. What to enjoy. What to forgive. What to accomplish. How to play and have fun again and relax. A cheeseburger and fries won’t kill me, and neither will be admitting I will not achieve every goal I set out to do. Neither will forgetting to do something important or cancelling plans and disappointing someone. At the end of my journal entry today (in my journal titled “escape the ordinary”), I wrote:

“Today is the season of ordinary time.

Time to be ordinary…”

Happy Birthday to ME! Cheers…

Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com.

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Diana Glynn

Flower child, daughter of the moon, who raised two female humans in the 90s. Leaving a trail of life pebbles which spell out “I love you” and “I forgive you.”